1) When I was five, my father worked on a film called Silver Streak and I befriended the lead actor, Gene Wilder. Gene used to babysit me now and again, and we kept up a correspondence for years. I still have a trunk full of letters from him in my garage.
2) When I was a teenager, I was offered a lead role in a major motion picture, but turned it down because I didn’t want to leave my high school boyfriend. Of course, we broke up before production ever started. The movie did quite well at the box office and went on to launch the careers of almost every young actor in it.
3) When I was thirteen, I was in New York on location with my Dad and I called up an Executive Editor at Putnam who had recently considered a manuscript of mine on the phone. At night. On a weekend. She was lovely, and invited me to meet with her a few days later at her office, where she graciously gave me a half hour of her time, amazing advice, and an open door to submit to her in the future.
4) I hated pizza until I was eleven years old. What was I thinking.
5) My favorite job I ever had was working as an Outreach Assistant on the Disney/PBS show Bill Nye The Science Guy. Chances are, if you called 1-800-Bill-Nye, you probably talked to me, because it rang straight through to my desk! And my husband was one of the editors of the show! Science rules!
6) Back in the day, I was the reigning champion at Centipede and Galaga.
7) I know every line of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club by heart, and John Hughes has been a huge influence on my work. If you want to get on my good side, compare my writing to his. Flattery will get you everywhere. At the minimum, I might buy you a highly overpriced caffeinated beverage.
8) My favorite TV show on the planet is Felicity and I am totally Team Noel. (Though Ben did have his charm.) It is, without question, a television show I wish I had written..
9) My top five favorite movies are (in no particular order because I love them all equally): American Beauty, Good Will Hunting, Before Sunrise, Boyhood and The Breakfast Club.
10) I always make a mix for every book I write. I like to listen to the mix when I’m driving or walking because it helps me connect to the characters and get the creative wheels spinning, but I prefer to write in absolute silence. I have to write on my computer, not longhand. Usually my best ideas come to me at 3a.m. or when the gardener starts up the leaf blower outside the window right next to my desk.